Starting Your Own Business — Tips to Help you Along
Becoming an entrepreneur seems to be getting easier these days, what with all the new tech that cuts startup costs significantly and lets you conduct your business armed with only a good laptop and a stable Internet connection. That’s great, especially when it’s coupled with the newest addition to startup financing options, crowdfunding, offered already by a number of websites. Still, there are things that no technology can take care of for you, so roll up your sleeves.
First, you need an idea, a niche that needs filling. It needs to be something you’re good at or something for which you know people who are good. Finding your niche may not be so easy to do, so it’s best if you start with your own needs — perhaps you’ll find one that is not satisfied by the existing products and services you use. For example, you could discover that your local restaurants and other eateries are not completely to your taste, and decide to set up your own. Or you could literally find something absolutely new — look at what happened with Facebook (yeah, yeah, that one’s old already, but it’s still a good example). The thing is that ideas are very often staring you in the face and it takes a bit of concentration in the right direction to see them properly.
OK, let’s say you’ve had a terrific idea and are eager to get on with making it a reality. You can see the technicalities of setting up a new business here, but the details and how you go about them are up to you. If you don’t feel confident enough about devising a business plan, invest in hiring someone who’s better at it. The same goes for choosing the best legal structure for your purposes and any other expert advice you might find necessary along the way. Starting a business is all about making the right choices, just like life.
Funding opportunities are numerous today, so shop around for grants, investors and crowdfunding options. Competition is tight as you can imagine, and you’ll need to be very convincing. This basically means that you must be able to make your idea stand out and give off a confident attitude, neither thing too difficult if you’ve done your homework in market research — which simply means you’ve looked at the companies that offer products or services similar to the one you have in mind — and you really are confident that it’s doable and profitable.
To encourage you, here are some tips from people who made it big. Pay attention to detail, don’t get lost in the big picture, says restaurateur Jon Taffer. Don’t give up, says cartoonist Scott Adams. It would be too optimistic to believe that you’ll score with the first try, wouldn’t it, so be prepared to wait and try, try again. Ad agency owner Sarah Rotman adds that you should never try for comfort at the beginning. You need to be alert about how your business is doing in order to make it successful. Discomfort in this particular case can do wonders for motivation. And, finally, the thing all successful entrepreneurs share — be ready to do all it takes, really all, to make it work. If you are, it’s very likely that it will.